Who is Daniel Durston? By Rodlyn-Mae Banting
Being born into a family which took much interest in the arts, with his mother a dancer and his father a drummer, Daniel Durston was sure to have music and performing in his future. After seeing the movie “That Thing You Do” starring Tom Hanks when he was 9 years old, Daniel knew from that day that he would pursue his passion for music. At the age of 10, Daniel picked up the guitar for the first time, learning a few chords from tutorial videos, but mostly teaching himself. At the same age, he began to write his own music. By 13, he was already recording in the studio for his first album.
Since the age of 10, Daniel was set on the life as a musician, never wanting to even consider other occupations. Daniel’s father, however, wanted his life to turn in a totally different direction. Being old fashioned, Mr. Durston wanted all of his sons to get a good education and graduate from college. Yet Daniel knew that this was not in his cards. He believes that if one really sets their mind to a goal and is driven to work hard enough to achieve it, then anything is possible. Back up plans are nonexistent for him, for it indicates that one is willing to back down and give up a dream. Though his parents did not take him seriously at first, his father still supported him and drove him to his gigs with his band during his high school life. It was only 2 years ago when Mr. Durston fully accepted and realized that music and performing was Daniel’s life, when him and his band Fiasco! sold out a show at the House of Blues in Anaheim, California.
In March of 2001, a life changing event shook the Durston family with the death of his eldest brother. Though everyone was utterly devastated, Daniel tried to look for the good in the situation. His brother, Dwayne, had a great passion for art, and aspired to be an art teacher. After his death, Daniel worked to have his brother’s memory live on in the form of paintings, beginning to seriously paint in 2008. Daniel uses very vibrant colors and images similar to those his brother would have used, in the hopes that people will see Dwayne through his paintings.
Throughout his life in the music industry Daniel has been a part of many bands, among them being Fiasco!, Unforgotten, and 12 Days in Paris. Fiasco!, which was one of Daniel’s more successful bands, was together for 3 years, but broke up after they lost their guitarist, who became the tour manager of the band Allstar Weekend. 12 Days in Paris was formed without the intention of being in the limelight: It resulted from a decimating break up that lead to late nights of writing with Daniel’s good friend, Jon.
It was moments like the break up of Fiasco! that made Daniel question if he should shift his focus on something else, like musical theatre. Many times, Daniel has considered leaving his life in California, and moving to New York, where he’d become a theatrical actor. Through his high school, Daniel was able to book the role of Shane Gray, in the “world premiere” of the Camp Rock musical, originally played by singer/actor Joe Jonas, from the hit Disney movie Camp Rock. Daniel almost did not get the role due to his height, but 2 weeks after auditioning, he found out that he had. The musical drew the attention of Radio Disney, and Camp Rock stars Meghan Martin, Roshon Fegan, and Mdot Finley. Yet every time he thought about turning away from being a musician, something pulled him back, and made him stay.
An opportunity that opened many doors for Daniel came when he was asked to join Nickelodeon star Max Schneider on the Make It In America Tour with Victoria Justice, as his bassist. Max had found out about Daniel through common friend and drummer, Beau Evans. Daniel readily accepted the offer, and thus Max and the Babes was formed. In being with this band, (including Max Schneider, Beau Evans, Nick Poulios, and Daniel Karp), Daniel was able to form an exceptional bond that he claims to be very hard to find among band mates. He definitely deems chemistry between people as an important component of being in a band, as well as each member’s passion and drive to make music.
Since the end of the tour, Daniel has been able to focus a lot on writing his own music and recording with songwriter/producer Matt Wong, who was a co-tour manager and security guard during the tour. Daniel spends a few days every week in the studio with Matt, recently releasing the duet “All Your Love” with Nickelodeon star Lulu Antariksa, and “Finally Feeling Like Christmas” with various artists. Through his music, Daniel hopes to inspire people to follow their dreams and pursue their life goals, no matter what it takes.